Impact assessment of the programme audits and intervention in homes in a position of energy poverty

Impact assessment of the programme audits and intervention in homes in a position of energy poverty


The report complements the programme “Audits and intervention in homes in a position of energy poverty” of the Barcelona Provincial Council, carried out during the year 2018 and part of 2019 in different municipalities in the province of Barcelona. The present report displays the information obtained through the evaluation of interventions in 100 households belonging to the programme.

Of these visits, 99 were made in person, while the last visit was made by telephone due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19. The aim has been to assess the tariff situation and the current consumption of the users compared to the situation they had before the energy interventions, analysing whether changes had been made to their bills, which and whether they have been maintained or reversed. In relation to consumption, it has been assessed whether it is there have been declines in consumption, whether these have been maintained or increased, and how it has had an impact on the economic expenditure of families. The users perception of the program through a qualitative questionnaire, has also been evaluated, and this way to assess the actions and tasks performed by the technicians who carried out the interventions, and the impact this has had on families.

1 - Design and planning

The selection of municipalities whose town councils have demonstrated special interest in the programme and where the availability of the social services technical team be good, so that must: validate selection of households, collaborate to obtain the invoices of the supplies, provide contact of them, and obtain permission to do so third visit and allow the visit. This selection will be done in close collaboration with the technical team of the Barcelona Provincial Council which has coordinated the programme.

The selection of households is based on the analysis of the data included in the ENERHUB (specific online computer application) program and a selection of the100 homes where the visits will take place, based (between others) to the following criteria:

  • That the households have made the second visit.
  • That households have all the bills required.
  • The number of visits must be proportional to number of audits performed for each batch.

Lot 1: 18 homes: Pineda de Mar, Premià de Mar, Canovelles i Lliçà d’Amunt.

Lot 2: 16 homes: Sallent, Manresa, Súria, Manlleu, Vic i Torelló.

Lot 3: 17 homes: Terrassa, Sabadell i Sant Cugat del Vallès.

Lot 4: 18 homes: Viladecans, Sant Andreu de la Barca i Sant Boi de Llobregat.

Lot 5: 15 homes: Vilafranca del Penedès, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Igualada.

Lot 6: 16 homes: Hospitalet de Llobregat i Santa Coloma de Gramenet.

The validation of homes chosen was done by the social services professionals. Following their selection and with the collaboration of municipal social services, the users need to provide invoice supplies. In the case of households that do not have piped natural gas, will be looked at if they have a different source of thermal energy and, if so, the invoice will be requested from the users. In case this invoice is not obtained, the analysis will be done with those of electricity.

Afterards,the scheduling of visits takes place. The company contacts the beneficiaries directly for arrange visits and inform to municipal social services professionals of these visits. The company then receives permission to visit and have access to the necessary information. It needs homes sign an authorization and to obtain it is required the intervention of municipal social services.

2- Visits to selected households

The purpose of each visit is twofold:

  • Study of the invoices of the current supplies inrelation to those presented at the time ofthe audit for each invoice: Analyse if changes have been made to that invoice recruitment, which and if they have been maintained or if they have been reverted. If there were downward power changes, assess whether they have been maintained. In relation to consumption, assess whether there have been declines in consumption, have been maintained or have increased. In relation to costs, evaluate whether the cost is higher, equal or lower, both in absolute as relative terms (€ / kWh or € / liter). In cases where part of the procedures the audit goes close with “change in process” check if the change is going carry out and if not, identify the reasons.
  • Collect the perception of users in relation to the program of audits, based on a brief questionnaire. The budget for these assessments is 18.000 €.

This measure could be considered a good practice as due to the information obtained from the evaluation we can improve the audit programme, and identify those aspects that should be modified in order to have a greater impact on users and their health: from reducing their bills, have more comfort at home and achieve a change in consumption habits and in the empowerment of the beneficiaries. Actions such as leaving more time between audit visits, commenting on the report given to users, so that they understand what conclusions have been reached about home improvements will be put into practice in future editions as as a result of this assessmnt.

The programme is funded by the Barcelona Provincial Council that is a local government institution promoting the progress and well-being of the citizens of the province of Barcelona –311 municipalities–, which represents 74.4% of the Catalan population. The work model revolves around the Local Government Network Plan, which is based on respect for local autonomy and networking between local governments and the provincial council to build a joint action programme, in accordance with the principles of efficiency and economy of public action and that is specified in the transfer of technical, economic and material resources.


  • Pineda de Mar, Premià de Mar, Canovelles, Lliçà d’Amunt, Sallent, Manresa, Súria, Manlleu, Vic,Torelló, Terrassa, Sabadell, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Viladecans, Sant Andreu de la Barca, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Vilafranca, Vilanova i la Geltrú,Igualada, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Catalunya, Spain

  • Geographical scale:
  • Energy poverty phase:
  • Professionals involved:
  • Type of funding:
    Local funds by the Barcelona Provincial Council
  • SDGs addressed:

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